[ loh-es, les, luhs ]
/ ˈloʊ ɛs, lɛs, lʌs /


a loamy deposit formed by wind, usually yellowish and calcareous, common in the Mississippi Valley and in Europe and Asia.

Words nearby loess

Origin of loess

1825–35; < German Löss < Swiss German lösch loose, slack (sch taken as a dial. equivalent of German s), akin to German lose loose


lo·ess·i·al, lo·ess·al, adjective
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2020

Examples from the Web for loess

British Dictionary definitions for loess

/ (ˈləʊɪs, German lœs) /


a light-coloured fine-grained accumulation of clay and silt particles that have been deposited by the wind

Derived forms of loess

loessial (ləʊˈɛsɪəl) or loessal, adjective

Word Origin for loess

C19: from German Löss, from Swiss German dialect lösch loose
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012

Scientific definitions for loess

[ lōəs, lĕs, lŭs ]

A very fine grained silt or clay, thought to have formed as the result of grinding by glaciers and to have been deposited by the wind. Most loess is believed to have originated during the Pleistocene Epoch from areas of land covered by glaciers and from desert surfaces.
The American Heritage® Science Dictionary Copyright © 2011. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.